This morning Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día reported that United States flags with 51 stars and an extra stripe were on display in different locations around the island. According the article, pro-statehood advocates displayed the flags in celebration of Flag Day.
Here is one of the flags at El Morro in Old San Juan (you can see others here):
The group, Igualdad, Futuro Seguro (Equality, Secure Future), also posted the following image on its Facebook page:
Here is what José M. Saldaña, the group’s executive vice-president, told a local outlet (our translation):
Hoy conmemoramos el día de la bandera de la Nación americana, a la que pertenecemos. Puerto Rico amanece con la bandera de las 51 estrellas como recordatorio de la decisión que el pueblo tomó contundentemente el 6 de noviembre del 2012.
Today we commemorate Flag Day of this American nation’s Flag Day, of which we are a part of. Puerto Rico woke up with a 51-star flag as a reminder of the decision the country strongly made on November 6, 2012.
Saldaña was referring to a non-binding status plebiscite which rejected the island’s current commonwealth status with the United States in one question and then voted for statehood in a second question. Puerto Ricans on the islands are US citizens, but they lack voting representation on the federal level.
Such results have become a topic of political controversy (surprise, surprise, it’s Puerto Rico), and as of 2014, the status question has since taken a back seat to other political and economic problems on the island.
Last year the federal government had earmarked $2.5 million for “objective nopartisan voter education about, and a plebiscite on, options that would resolve Puerto Rico’s future political status, which shall be provided to the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico.” A Puerto Rican statehood bill was submitted to the Senate earlier this year, but nothing has happened.
For those keeping score at home: it’s complicated. Really complicated.
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